Bangladesh lures investment in deal with Japan’s biggest bank

The Daily Star/Asia News Network

The Daily Star/Asia News Network–The Board of Investment (BoI), Bangladesh’s apex investment promotion body, yesterday signed an agreement with Japan’s largest bank to rope in investment from the Asian nation. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ will handhold interested parties to explore investment opportunities in Bangladesh. It will conduct market research and road-shows and provide technical assistance and capacity building. ��Our prime minister has asked us to play a big role in promoting investment to Bangladesh,�� said Go Watanable, chief executive officer of the bank’s operations in Asia and Oceania, adding that his company will market Bangladesh to the big Japanese corporations. This is the first time that the BoI has signed an agreement with a foreign institution to bring in investment from abroad, according to Syed A Samad, executive chairman of BoI. The country received US$1.6 billion in foreign direct investment last year, which is 24 percent higher than in the previous year. Of the sum, Japan accounted for US$94.37 million, which is more than a twofold increase from 2012. Between January and September this year, some US$292 million have arrived from the Asian nation. Although the trend is positive, the growth of trade and investment between Japan and Bangladesh is still far below potential, Atiur Rahman, governor of Bangladesh Bank, said. Japan is 10th in FDI rankings. Citing a recent survey of the Japan External Trade Organisation, Rahman said the country has outlay and profit advantages over many countries as the cost of production is the lowest in the world. Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the domestic market of 160 million people will create business opportunities for Japanese companies.

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu called for all-out efforts to increase bilateral trade and investment and more interactions between the two countries’ business communities. ��In order to materialize our dream of becoming a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041, we have been pursuing a liberal investment and industrial policy for foreign investors with huge attractive incentive package.��